It’s not that often when metal creeps its way into mainstream pop culture. So when metal/hard rock acts do actually pop up in beloved sitcoms, dramatic films, cartoons or even reality series, it’s kind of awesome. So in the weekly column Remember When, Metal Insider recalls the most random instances of metal’s elite appearing in front of the camera.
For four seasons, HBO’s drama Treme chronicled stories of New Orleans residents as they rebuilt their lives following Hurricane Katrina. Given the city’s rich history in music, the show often featured cameos and musical performances by New Orleans-based artists. And in season 3, the show acknowledged the NOLA metal scene by including an appearance from none other than Eyehategod.
The NOLA sludge icons’ short appearance on Treme was primarily just them playing to a packed crowd at the Southport Hall, filled with shots of them playing onstage and Treme character L.P. Everett crowdsurfing. Seeing Eyehategod on any HBO show is pretty awesome, even if it was for only a minute. But it was especially great to not only see Eyehategod (who like many to were personally affected by Hurricane Katrina) appear on a show like Treme, but to also see New Orleans’ metal scene get well deserved recognition.
The rest of the year will find Eyehategod continuing to tour (including dates with Discharge and Toxic Holocaust, along with an appearance at GWAR-B-Q). However while on the road, singer Mike ‘IX’ Williams took the time to speak with us about how Eyehategod’s appearance on Treme came to be. He also shared stories of his time in high school with the real-life inspiration behind one of the show’s major characters, as well as a brief update on new music from Eyehategod. Check out what Williams told us, as well as video of Eyehategod’s cameo on Treme, below.
So you actually went to high school with Davis Rogan [the real life inspiration behind the show’s character Davis McAlary, portrayed by Steve Zann]. And you previously shared a story of how you actually set his locker on fire.
[Laughs] Yes, that’s a true story! I mean, I don’t know if Davis tells the story to people, I guess he probably does because it’s such a funny story. I was a little punk rock… punk [laughs], for lack of better words. I was just a little troublemaker. This was, I don’t know, seventh grade or something. [laughs]
It was actually probably more of an accident then it was on purpose… it wasn’t vindictive or anything like that. And he will probably hate me for this, because later on Davis became “cool” [editor’s note: Davis Rogan in real life is a well know musician hailing from New Orleans]. I mean, he had a TV show based on him, kind of. [But] he used to get picked on a lot in high school. So we were just like “Yeah, let’s drop a lit match in his locker”, and we did. We had no idea it was going to completely catch on fire.
What’s so great about that story is you lit Davis’ locker on fire, and yet you still managed to get on his television show!
Right! [laughs] That’s pretty much how it happened. I mean, think at how weird that is [to both cross paths like that]. Me and/or him never thought that would ever happen. I also never thought I’d even see Davis again after high school.
So there was obviously that personal connection you had to the show, but how exactly did Eyehategod end up appearing on Treme?
They were just looking for a band to do the show. Usually they have… it’s usually R&B, jazz or blues, or the Mardi Gras Indian [music], stuff like that. Somebody there, I don’t know who, did their research because if you research New Orleans, you’ll know that we’re a big part of that scene. There’s a whole lot of bands that are part of that scene.
Well I think that’s why a lot of fans were excited about the band’s appearance on the show, given how strong the NOLA metal scene is.
Yeah that’s true. Like I said, somebody did their research. I mean, it took a while for the [metal] scene down there to ever get recognized. There’s magazines [in New Orleans] like OffBeat and Wavelength [where] it seemed to take a lot of years before they actually put stuff in, like even record reviews, about something other than R&B and jazz. Which I love, I love that type of music.
You had previously described the filming process as very painless, and the exact opposite the horrid Hollywood atmosphere you had anticipated. What were some of your favorite memories from shooting the show?
I mean, we just were there for one day. We came in, and I was totally hung over as most people in New Orleans are, and we just did the song I guess like ten times. And at the same time, I guess one of the actors stage dives [during the scene], so they filmed that over and over again, and took the best clips.
With Eyehategod having such strong connections to New Orleans, what were your thoughts on how Treme in general depicted life after Katrina?
I mean, just like with any show or Hollywood thing, some of it was portrayed well and some of it was exaggerated. It was mostly good, I would say. Granted though, I’ve only seen a few episodes really. I haven’t seen every season.
Now that you’ve appeared on Treme, what other TV series or films would you like to see Eyehategod make an appearance in?
I don’t know. I love horror films, crime movies or anything like that. So I’d like to do something like that. I liked The Shield a lot. That was a great show.
It would’ve been great to hear an Eyehategod song during a bust on The Shield!
Yeah, right! Sons Of Anarchy was a great show. So yeah, stuff like that.
Well, there are plenty of crime dramas that could use Eyehategod for its soundtrack!
Yeah, I mean we’d probably consider anything. If somebody came with us with an offer, and if it was something cool, then we’d do it.
Before I let you go, I know that Eyehategod played a brand new song last month at Saint Vitus. Does that mean a new Eyehategod album is almost done?
Not close to being done, not at all. We’re writing new material for the next record. We’ve probably got six or more songs, but with Eyehategod, it could take… who knows [how long] for us to even get into the studio or even finish the songs. It just takes us a while. We’re from the south, and everything moves slower. So who knows! [laughs] But we are writing new material, but I don’t know when it’ll come out.